Q&A With Samantha Rudolph, Head of the Office of the President & Chief Product Officer @ SAP SuccessFactors

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Firstly, please introduce yourself

My name is Samantha Rudolph, but everyone calls me Sam. I have been working in technology (and at SAP) for 16 years. I started my career at our headquarters in Walldorf, Germany writing technical documentation for various SAP products, and in 2010 I became a Knowledge Manager for SaaS products. I moved with my family to Reston, Virginia in 2015, where I took over the User Assistance team at SAP SuccessFactors. Since mid-2020 I have been the Chief of Staff to our Chief Product Officer, Meg Bear, and I recently expanded my role to include being the Head of Meg Bear’s Office. I am married with two amazing daughters, and I am a passionate (perhaps closer to fanatic) youth softball coach.

What are you looking forward to at Women in Tech Boston?

Like everyone else, I’m guessing, I am looking so forward to the opportunity to network with other amazing, like-minded women in tech, and to learn from them and be inspired. I’ve also never been to Boston, so I’m looking forward to checking that off my bucket list as well!

What advice would you give to someone looking to step up their career in tech?

The biggest piece of advice I give to my mentees and to fellow women in tech is to always stay true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. I feel like we sometimes try to be someone we’re not because we think it’ll help us climb the corporate ladder faster. Let your sunshine glow because others will appreciate and embrace your warmth.

It’s also critical to build a network of people who you can trust to always have your back, just like you will always have theirs. When others sing your praises, glass ceilings are shattered so much faster than when you’re trying to break them on your own.

What do you see as the biggest challenge currently facing women in technology?

While we see an increasing number of women entering the workforce in technology, there still aren’t enough women in leadership positions, and that lack of role models is a real issue for women looking to further their careers in tech. Because I get to work for and with so many strong female leaders at SAP SuccessFactors, I wake up every day inspired and encouraged. That’s what I wish for every woman working in tech, and we’re just not there yet in our industry.

The theme of the event is Resilience; what does resilience mean to you?

Resilience to me means always showing up, no matter what time or day it is. It’s the ability to fight through pain and discouragement, and to climb any wall in front of you no matter how high it might seem. Be creative, find ways to get up and over that wall, and never stop trying. Of all the things that Cal Ripken accomplished in his storied baseball career, he is most known for the fact that he played 2,632 consecutive games—he played through illness, injury, and hard times because his team was depending on him. I named my daughter Kayla after Cal Ripken because resilience is the key to success, both in your career and in life.

What can attendees expect from your session at Women in Tech Boston?

I would love for attendees to leave excited about how software is helping to create and support a sustainable workforce and achieve the goal of zero inequality.  When a company is truly inclusive, employees feel encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. Employees have skills and competencies, of course, but we also have unique perspectives, backgrounds, and personal experiences. It is a business imperative for organizations to use technology to tap into and leverage those unique experiences. When companies celebrate human potential and make DE&I their top priority, they will quickly outgrow their competition with an engaged and sustainable workforce.

Join Samantha Rudolph for her session “The Power of Technology in Building a Sustainable Workforce” at Women in Tech Boston on October 20 – 21st.

About Laura Richardson
Laura is part of the Content Team for the Women in Tech World Series. She is passionate about creating inclusive spaces for everyone.

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